Monday, December 30, 2013

spyhouse and rational irrationality

(Whew. Time flies when you're not blogging.)
A day may come when Maddy J. will stop talking about the city. But it is not this day.
     Let this suffice: When I was in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, I caught a glowing glimpse of this coffee house, stuck up in the corner of a long, low, brick building on the northeastern edge of Minneapolis. I vowed I'd return.
     Christmas break came and I ventured to it. Once I found the conspiratorially subtle door--which was, indeed, stuck up in the corner of a long, low, brick building--the place did not disappoint my weeks of anticipation. It was just as a long, low-lit, brick coffee shop called Spyhouse ought to be.
     On my way to the conspiratorially subtle door--just as I stepped into the building, and before I wandered from floor to floor peeking over plywood barricades sheltering undeveloped industrial-building-bowels in my search for the Spyhouse--I beheld a wide open, concrete-floored, two-story atrium emblazoned (rarely is that word so aptly applied: the thing was blazing bright) with this glowing tribute to the human settlement I love most: CITY.

Alright, enough about that. (It's just, the last post was called la ville me manque, so it seemed only fair to mention that I'm back in civilization.)

     Not quite back in civilization, though. I reside in the House on the Edge of the Small Town on the Edge of the Small City (doesn't have the same ring as Little House in the Big Woods, but it is near a Plum Creek), when I'm not packing up to live as a vagabond in the cities for a day or two as I'm doing now (yay, camper-friendly coffee shops!). But I don't mind living up in the country, away from town and acquaintance. It's quiet up there. The world outside is alive: snow and moon and frozen river, bare-branched island, smooth white field, frozen dirt road out front, stars that pierce the eye with whiteness. I can write and re-cover books (my new favorite crafty pastime) and read in relative peace. I can slip out and disappear into snow-muffled quiet anytime I like. I'm going a little crazy spending so much time in my head but that's pretty much life as normal; wot, wot?

     I often find it necessary to take a rather more conversational tone when breaking back into the blog after long, inexplicable absences. (On second thought, I think end-of-first-college-semester suffices as an explanation for this particular absence.) Problem now being, of course, that I've just explained how my conversation skills have fallen into rusty disuse due to my seclusion in the Minnesota tundra. (Taking one's language cues solely from books [and those, of a widely varied style] isn't always advisable, as we all know.) So I'm finding it necessary, this time, to take on instead an all-around inarticulate and likely obnoxious tone and that's just how it's gonna be.

     About the "rational irrationality" bit in the title: it's a term I learned in my principles of microeconomics class this semester (one of many such concepts I to which I was introduced and that I have now enthusiastically incorporated into my working vocabulary, to the chagrin, I'm sure, of anyone who actually has a right to use such terms; apologies) and I'm co-opting it to tell you about something else: hope.
     There's a moment in a book which I shall not name for fear of spoiling the moment where some characters we like quite a lot are in a tight spot--the last and most intractable of a long series of tight spots, in fact. There's no way out of this one. There just really isn't. Everyone's dying or incapacitated or lost or intrinsically incapable of leadership, they've all already been unaccountably lucky (and yet mercilessly unlucky) to get to even this point, and the bad guys have really got this one.
     Then friends pop out of the woods behind, surround our suffering chums, and fight off the bad guys. Friends you had forgotten existed, or of whom you'd never consciously thought, but who had every right to be right where they were all along.
     The point is, for a disciple of Christ, this is always the case. Friends Unknown are always hiding in the inscrutable thicket of the dead-end. Things are always better than you could conceive them to be. The sack is always hiding one more leaf of lembas. You can't see it, but you must reckon on it. That's the crazy walk of faith. You see the gap in the rope bridge and you step anyway, because that's part of the job description.